All of us need change in our lives. Even our countries and nations need changes on the way we do things and live to make progress and achieve success.
Most of the time, we think about change in terms of other people, institutions, leaders, followers, our family members, etc, etc – other people and things instead of us.
The truth we all need to learn quickly, however, is that the real change for progress and success in life lies within us and not outside. J.C, Penny said, “nobody need to live a minute longer than they are because the Creator himself endowed us with ability to change ourselves”.1
The circumstances of our birth, family, companies, countries and all that affect us are actually what we need for our national progress and personal success. These circumstances are not changeable. They are the fundamentals upon which you build yourself up. It is each person’s responsibility to change in the effort to adapt to the circumstances of our birth, environment and country and it is change that is progress and success and achievement. So all the circumstances we would ever face and meet in the course of our lives are the change agents we should take advantage of.
The other important law of nature is that nothing changes unless you change. For example, the rain would come when it would. The sun would rise when it would. The seasons of the year are controlled fundamentally and cannot be controlled by man.
Chinua Achebe2 in “Things Fall Apart” used the characters of Okonkwo and his father Unoka to show that it is not the circumstances that hinders success but the individuals’ response and reaction to the circumstances around them. In the same land where Okonkwo was able become a success from his youth by his attitude, character and hard work, his father blamed the gods for his poverty.
What needs to change for success to take place is ourselves. The organized effort in making change happen is called personal development.
If we do not have what we want in life, what needs to change for us to get what we want from life is not the economy of the country, the politicians or our place of birth or abode, but us.
Here are some areas of your life you can begin changing today to put yourself on the road to progress and ultimately make a success of your life:
Your philosophy is your way of life, your viewpoint about life, your values, your thinking, your ideas and beliefs. This is the head of the nail for our progress and failure. If we would make it in life, our philosophy of life should change to the success mode. If you see evil in everything, if you blame others for your circumstances, if you think that your condition is inflicted by others, if you see life from the hazy lights of ignorance, if your values are warped, what do you belief in and about yourself, what ideas do you bring to the market place – these are what determines whether you are going to make a success of your life or not.
According to the scriptures, this world is created by the word of mouth of God. In all recorded history of man, the word of mouth is so powerful that we are constantly reminded to be mindful of our words. It has been proven that whatever you are saying to people and yourself have a way to manifest in your reality, hence the caution.
Psychologists and others working in the realm of mental health has warned parents to mind what they say to their children. Parents are constantly warned not speak cursing words to their children because those might manifest in their reality. The challenge of what words we are speaking impacts more on us than on all others.
There is a common saying among my people that says “if you agree your Chi would also agree”37. This means that if you say that you can, then you can. If you say that you can’t, then you can’t.
Is your language filled with fear of the unknown? Or is it filled with the courage to try the unknown so that it may be discovered? What are you telling yourself, your children, your spouses, your customers, the people around you? Are you positive in your outlook or negative? Are you courteous or discourteous? Do you sound helpful, constructive, supportive or helpless, destructive and unhelpful? Are you an “I can” or I can’t person?
All these constitute your language. It is what you are saying that would happen to you.
If you have been saying the negative and have the resultant poor results in your life, change that to positive language and see what happens.
As a growing young man, I was so afraid, shy and negative in my thoughts and language. The result of that was life being meaningless for me. I wanted so much to not continue with living and I thought and wished something sudden would happen to end my life. At some point, I even contemplated suicide. I did not carry that out more because I felt it would stigmatize my family members. I was behind in everything in my life.
However, as soon as I learned what was happening through personal development and changed my language, my life has so changed that I am now praying every day for long life to enable me live more, do more and enjoy more. I have accentuated my language in the positive side that I have overtaken many of my peers and several fronts.
What are you telling yourself and people around you? What are you telling your spouse and children and all those who depend upon you for their succor? In success, language rules.
Jim Rohn described civilization as “the intelligent management of our emotions”. Our attitude is the way we manage our emotions. It has to do with how bold and how assertive we can be in the face of circumstances before us or the circumstance we created by ourselves. Attitude also involves our approach, outlook, manner, stance, mindset, posture, etc. towards life.
How would you describe your attitude towards life? Is it civilized? Is it positive or negative? Do you have boldness in your words, steps and presentations? Are you assertive in your approach and presentations?
If your attitude is not positive, if you lack boldness in your words, steps and presentations, then you have to change those if you want to succeed. We are the authors of our success. We are the inhibitors our own success. It is not the economy and it is not your negative relatives. It is in your attitude.
Your personality is your character, nature, behavior, disposition, temperament, traits, your quality, etc. There are good and bad characters. There are cultured and uncultured natures. There are bad and good behaviors. There hot or bad tempered as there are calm and calculated responses to other people’s activities around you. What quality of a human being are you? Do you sag trousers or wear revealing clothes or pierce or tattoo your skin? We are addressed how we dress, they say. What is it for you?
If you are young and feel that sagging is the in-thing, consider the meaning of the word “sag” and see what you are showing yourself as. When I checked, sag means drop, fall, slump, slackness and droop. Which of these words would like to be a description of you?
You got to change your personality to the one of the man or woman you want to be. Prim and proper which includes being dignified, tidy, orderly, neat and meticulous is the type of physical personality that you should portray, you should change to.
So what is your personality – good or bad, great or poor, nice and cool or temperamental? If it is any of the negatives, you need to change it. If your personality is positive, you have to accentuate it.
Communication means message, contact, interactions and exchange with others. Majority of us are not able to communicate well. Communication is the means we pass information of our products and services. If we are not able to properly communicate with those we have business with, those we share our lives with, we are in trouble.
Our method of communication, the frequency and the kind of contacts we are communicating with would need to change for us to make a success of our life.
Examine your life on these five elements of philosophy, language, attitude, personality and communication and see where you need to make the change and start making it today so that you can achieve success in your life.